con·​grat·​u·​la·​tion kən-ˌgra-chə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce congratulation (audio)
: a congratulatory expression
usually used in plural
Congratulations on your promotion.
: the act of congratulating

Example Sentences

Let me offer you my congratulations for being elected. Please send her my congratulations. I sent her a letter of congratulations.
Recent Examples on the Web Ranking the awards shows from worst to first After a one-year broadcast timeout for bad behavior, the Golden Globes came back, putting into motion Hollywood’s most intensive stretch of self-congratulation. Glenn Whippcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 13 Jan. 2023 That kind of self-congratulation is usually where movie musicals miss a step. Vulture, 9 Feb. 2022 But history tells us premature self-congratulation by the ruling classes rarely ends well. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 19 Dec. 2022 That implicit naivete can be a dodge, and there are times when Gray slips into sentimentality and self-congratulation. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2022 But McGovern also warned against complacency and self-congratulation, saying that merely organizing a successful summit wasn’t much of an accomplishment. Ashraf Khalil And Darlene Superville,, 28 Sep. 2022 But demonizing the Republicans (who richly deserve it) can be a far more powerful argument with the voters than Democratic self-congratulation. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 22 Sep. 2022 Mix that with past polygamy, with former racist policies, with the present treatment of the LGBTQ community, with all of the strictures and self-congratulation of the faith highlighted even more at BYU, and anger percolates. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Sep. 2022 There are four big reasons to be skeptical of the Democratic Party's self-congratulation. Jeffrey Sachs, CNN, 19 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'congratulation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


see congratulate

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of congratulation was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near congratulation

Cite this Entry

“Congratulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​grat·​u·​la·​tion kən-ˌgrach-ə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce congratulation (audio)
: the act of congratulating
: an expression of joy or pleasure at another's success or good fortune
usually used in plural

More from Merriam-Webster on congratulation

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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